World wars [світові війни; svitovi viiny]. Two major international conflicts that punctuated 20th-century history and entailed unprecedented destruction and sociopolitical upheaval. Dozens of countries participated in each of the world wars, but the principal belligerents were as follows: in the First World War (1914–18), the Entente (Great Britain, France, Russian Empire), which was joined by the United States of America in 1917, and the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey, Bulgaria); in the Second World War (1939–45), the Allies (England, France; joined by the USSR and the United States in 1941) and the Axis (Germany, Italy, Japan). Both wars profoundly affected Ukraine.
(See also History of Ukraine.)
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]